Best Finish for Wooden Worktable?
I just finished building a table for my kitchen (using this http://www.instructables.com/id/Kitch...) that I'll be using as my primary work surface. I've trying to figure out what the best finish to use on the tabletop would be. One site I found suggests a mixture of mineral oil and beeswax, and another suggests paraffin wax. I won't be cutting on the surface, but I will most likely be working doughs on it.
What would you use?
Just my $0.02 but it's more of a woodworking (finishing) question than a cookware question. You might want to check out woodnet.net to get other ideas if you haven't done so.
I'll second the epoxy as a good choice for durability and chemical resistance. However, they are primarily bonding agents not film formers. But if you choose to do so get a high quality industrial grade epoxy instead of something from the home improvement store. One choice is West Systems epoxy. I'm not sure of the exact coverage but a 1 quart #105 and 0.44pt #206 hardener should cover a 28" x 72" table with plenty left over. Also get a set of mini-pumps which aid in dispensing the correct ratio. If you've used pine or other softwood it will soak up the epoxy fairly fast. If it soaks in too fast just lightly sand with 220grit and put on a second coat. The curing of epoxy is a chemical reaction that is slowed down by a cooler environment. To give yourself more time work in a cool room but don't exceed the range for the #206 hardener.
West Systems epoxy is available from West Marine (no connection), Rockler Woodworking stores and many other online sites. Best price I found lately was Jamestown Distributors about $70. Also, nitrile gloves, plastic mixing cups and acetone for cleanup are needed.
A second less expensive and a little less durable would be a urethane varnish like Varathane. Varathane is available from home improvement stores.
Good luck with your project.
Clear 2-part epoxy. Mix it well, use an old credit card or similar to 'squeegee' it into the grain of the wood. I did this around my sink on the butcher block countertop I put in to give it better moisture resistance and wear resistance from repeated wipings, and it's worked like a charm so far. It's only on a 5 inch wide area around and behind the sink, but I wish now I'd have done it over the whole countertop. It doesn't take much, either. Two twin-tube packs should cover a good 6 feet of counter space.
Caveats: It must be mixed well. It can take 24 hours for the '15 minute' stuff to cure completely, and 3-4 days for the 2 hour epoxt to completely cure. Must be kept dust-free while curing or dust gets embedded in the epoxy surface. Has to be sanded a bit to be completely smooth.